This spring, students at the University of Virginia changed the process through which the university chooses each year's commencement speaker.
The movement began when some students disagreed with the choice of the 2009 speaker, Harvie Wilkenson, a UVa law school alumnus and federal district judge.
When Quynh Vu, a senior at UVa, heard about Wilkenson in early March, she researched him and found that she did not agree with Wilkenson's rulings and opinions on various minority groups.
Vu believed Wilkenson's writings in the Washington Post about gay marriage were hostile to the UVa LGBTA community and "condescending and inflammatory toward what they were working for."
She also considered his ruling in "Handi vs. Rumsfeld" - a case involving an American citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay - an inappropriate attitude toward Arab minorities.
"We were flabbergasted that he was asked to speak," Vu said. "It's not about him speaking but him speaking at commencement because that's a special time that people only get to have once."
Her roommate Amelia Meyer attempted to discuss the decision with UVa Secretary Board of Visitors Sandy Gilliam; however, he declined the dialogue.
"That's what made me mad," Vu said. "Not just at the speaker but it showed a complete disregard for any criticism or student voice."
Uva's Office of Major Events did not respond to calls from the Collegiate Times.
Currently at UVa, the student representation on the commencement committee consists of the Student Council president, Honor Chair, University Judiciary Committee Chair and fourth-year class president. The Student Council president chooses five additional students.
The entire committee makes a list of 10 potential speakers and passes it to President John Casteen, who chooses from the list or disregard's the committee's offerings and picks a speaker whom he wants to bring to commencement.
Vu had a tough time finding any information on the process to choose the commencement speaker and created an online petition that called for the transparency of the process and more student involvement in the decision-making. The petition currently has 414 signatures.